More information about Sri Lanka is available on the Sri Lanka Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


The United States and Sri Lanka enjoy positive relations based on shared democratic traditions, growing security cooperation, and a common interest in the freedom of navigation and commerce, and the maintenance of a rules-based regional order. Current U.S policy in Sri Lanka aims to support Sri Lanka’s democratic institutions, encourage its economic development, counter terrorism, and to promote a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.  Both governments intend to promote further economic cooperation and exchanges in maritime security and safety, and agree to continue the pursuit of joint initiatives to enhance security, stability, transparency, and economic opportunity for mutual benefit.


U.S. Assistance to Sri Lanka

U.S. assistance to Sri Lanka has totaled more than $2 billion since Sri Lanka’s independence in 1948. The U.S. has made substantial investments in agriculture, enterprise development, education, healthcare, energy and natural resources, and humanitarian activities. Following the April 2019 Easter attacks, the United States sent FBI experts to support the investigation. The United States looks forward to continued counterterrorism cooperation.  The United States and Sri Lanka are also discussing a $480 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact supporting Sri Lanka’s economic development. The United States also provided $39 million in Foreign Military Financing to enhance Sri Lanka’s maritime domain awareness.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States is Sri Lanka’s largest export market and accounts for nearly $3 billion of the $11.7 billion of goods Sri Lanka exports annually. U.S. goods imports from Sri Lanka totaled $2.7 billion in 2018, down 6.4 percent from 2017.  U.S. exports to Sri Lanka in 2018 were valued at $372 million, up 10.7 percent from the previous year.  The total U.S. trade deficit in goods with Sri Lanka was $2.3 billion in 2018, an 8.6 percent decrease from 2017.  U.S. imports from Sri Lanka are mostly apparel, but also include rubber, industrial supplies, gemstones, tea, and spices.  Top U.S. exports to Sri Lanka include animal feeds, medical equipment, soybeans, plastics, dairy products, wheat, cloth, and textiles.

Sri Lanka has also received approximately $1.2 billion in lending from the IMF since June 2016 with a new disbursement of $164.1 million agreed upon in May 2019.

Bilateral Military Relations

Bilateral military and maritime cooperation have seen a significant uptick since Sri Lanka’s 2015 elections.  Key activities include U.S. Navy port calls, a partnership with the Sri Lanka Navy to establish a Sri Lankan Marine Corps, and exercises with the Sri Lankan Navy and Air Force to build cooperation on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and maritime security issues toward a safe and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

Sri Lanka’s Membership in International Organizations

Sri Lanka traditionally follows a nonaligned foreign policy. It participates in multilateral diplomacy, particularly at the United Nations, where it seeks to promote sovereignty, independence, and development in the developing world. Sri Lanka and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the UN, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund.

Bilateral Representation

Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.

Sri Lanka maintains an embassy in the United States at 3025 Whitehaven Street, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-483-4025).

More information about Sri Lanka is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

CIA World Factbook Sri Lanka Page
U.S. Embassy
USAID Sri Lanka Page
History of U.S. Relations With Sri Lanka
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Country Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel Information
Millennium Challenge Corporation: Sri Lanka

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future